Soreness of nipples is a common symptom in women who are menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding. Sore nipple pain can be due to an allergy or an undergarment that does not fit, to a serious health issue. It can be an independent symptom or it may be associated with discharge, pain, skin changes, a breast lump or nodule and itching. Most nipple conditions can be easily treated, but sometimes it could be a sign of a significant breast problem.
Breast cancer usually does not presents with soreness of nipple, but inflammatory breast cancer can be associated with redness, warmth, and swelling of the breast.
Causes of Sore Nipples
- Hormonal changes such as ovulation, menstruation, pregnancy and
- Breastfeeding is the most common cause of sore nipples
- Small, benign, or noncancerous, tumors
- Ectasia or widening of the milk ducts
- Paget’s disease of the breast
- Trauma such as a blow or injury to the breast
- Friction from exercise, running and sexual activity
- An infection in the breast
- Allergy or atopic dermatitis from any perfumes, soaps and detergent
- Poorly fitting clothes and undergarments
Management of Sore Nipples
- Wet compresses after breastfeeding to be soothing on sore, cracked nipples.
- Using a lanolin ointment designed explicitly for breastfeeding mothers will help promote moist wound healing.
- Wearing a bra that fits correctly and provides firm support. A well-fitting bra that is not too tight may decrease breast pain and the amount of milk that leaks from the breasts.
- Placing ice packs on the breasts. This helps decrease breast swelling and pain. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a bag and cover it with a towel.
- If the cause is friction, switching to a better-fitting bra or shirt may help.
- Dermatitis is treated with steroid creams and lotions that bring down inflammation.
- Avoiding tight clothes and wearing a more supportive bra can help control nipple pain.
- Avoiding caffeine, which may contribute to growths called cysts in your breasts.
- Limiting salt in the diet.
- Regular exercises.
- While breastfeeding, nurse the baby on the sore side first to relieve the pressure. Make sure that the baby latches on properly and change baby’s position regularly.
- Try holding a hot water bottle to the breasts or having a warm bath or shower.
- Try gentle relaxation techniques or gentle massage.
Homeopathic Treatment for Sore Nipples
Belladonna: It is one of the best homeopathic medicines for sore nipples due to mastitis. The breasts feel hot, red, throbbing. Sudden onset with pain and extreme tenderness in the breast.
Bryonia alba: It is indicated in cases of sore nipples where the breast is hard, swollen and hot, but pale in color, rather than red.
Phytolacca: It is a wonderful remedy for mastitis and sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses. Breast infections with painful lumps in the breast. The pain starts at the nipple and radiates under the arm or over the whole body. There may be hard knots or nodules in the breasts. Nipples sore and fissured. Breast feels like a brick, lumpy and nodular.
Castor equi: The best remedy for sore, cracked, ulcerated nipples. The breasts are very tender and the nipples are swollen.
Croton Tiglium: Nipples very sore to touch. Excruciating pain from the nipple to the back, with pain felt in the shoulder blade. The breasts are inflamed, swollen, and hard and the nipples may be cracked.
Chamomilla: Nipples inflamed and very tender. It is so painful that she cannot bear breastfeeding. Extremely irritable and intolerant of pain. Excruciating pain runs round to scapula. Radiating pain runs along the intercostal nerves.
Nitricum acidum: Cracks and soreness of the nipples. Extremely sensitive nipples. Sticking pains, like a splinter with discoloration of nipples.
Lycopodium clavatum: Nipples sore with fissures. Bleeding from ducts.
Petroleum: Sore nipples with itching and scaly covering on nipples.
Pulsatilla nigricans: Weeps while nursing due to intolerable pain and soreness. Pain extends to chest, neck, down back. Sore breasts and nipples throughout pregnancy.
Sepia: Deep, sore cracks across the tip of the nipple.
Staphisagria: Pain in the nipples when the milk begins to flow. Makes nursing impossible.
Sulphur: It is indicated for pain and sore feeling after nursing, nipple smarts, burns and chaps badly.
Ratanhia: Cracks in nipples with great stress.
Sarsaparilla: Sore nipples with dry hard deep cracks on it. Dry itching and crusts on the nipples.
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